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Spanish Immersion Program


Want your child to be bilingual? Enroll in MPCSD's Spanish Immersion Program!

Program Structure
Spanish Immersion is currently offered in grades K-5 at Laurel and Encinal. We offer a 90-10 Immersion model, which means that kindergarten immersion students receive their core academic instruction in Spanish, and as they move through the grades, there are incremental increases in the instructional time in English such that by the fifth grade, core academic instruction is delivered in both English and Spanish equally.  
Program Goal
The goal of the Spanish Immersion Program is to create bilingual, bi-literate and bicultural students by the end of fifth grade. Students enter the program with many different levels of Spanish fluency. Some students are native Spanish speakers, others have had exposure to Spanish in preschool or with a parent/guardian or childcare provider, and many have had very little or no exposure to Spanish when they begin the program. The native Spanish speakers benefit from learning to read and write in Spanish, deepening their Spanish speaking skills, and building capacity as leaders in the classroom. The non-native Spanish speakers benefit from becoming fluent in Spanish at the same time as receiving all of the standard curricula. In fact, by the end of fifth grade, the goal is that immersion students will be performing at grade level in both languages.

Spanish Immersion Kindergarten Registration Information
All incoming Kindergarten students who are residents of the Menlo Park City School District are invited to apply to participate in the Spanish Immersion program. K-5 Spanish Immersion is offered at both Laurel and Encinal schools. There is no Spanish fluency requirement for incoming kindergartners. 

Although openings for new immersion students generally exist at the kindergarten level, due to attrition, applicants for grades beyond kindergarten will be considered when space is available to students who meet the academic proficiency and the appropriate social/emotional level required by the grade to which they are applying. 

Qualified district students who reside outside the Laurel or Encinal attendance boundaries may apply for an Intradistrict transfer to Laurel or Encinal. Once the transfer is approved, all interested students will be given equal consideration.

New Entry to Immersion
The District occasionally offers a small number of English-only students entry into the upper grade immersion classrooms. When space is available, we offer this immersion opportunity to students who express an interest in learning a second language on a case by case basis.

In the New Entry Immersion program, we offer students in the upper grades, who fit specific criteria, the opportunity to enroll in an immersion class. Through this program, we were able to provide the possibility for more students to experience second language learning. As an added benefit, by expanding access to the immersion program through New Entry Immersion, we can provide a more robust and sustainable immersion program throughout all grade levels.

Our goal for the New Entry Immersion program is to provide exposure to Spanish through classroom instruction in various content areas. Spanish support from the teacher or Spanish intern is provided at least three times a week. All teachers are expected to have a general idea of the overall academic progress of each New Entry student. However, only an effort grade is given for subjects taught in Spanish. It would be unrealistic to expect New Entry students to achieve grade level standards in Spanish; however, it is expected that all New Entry students will show growth in Spanish vocabulary and fluency. 

For more information or if you have questions, please contact Tami Girsky, Program Coordinator